American singer R. Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison for sex crimes

The fallen star, famous for his hit “I Believe I Can Fly”, has just been found guilty of leading a “system” of sexual exploitation of women, including minors, between 1994 and 2018.

The verdict fell on June 29: Robert Sylvester Kelly, known by the alias of R. Kelly for his hit I Believe I Can Flyis sentenced to 30 years in prison for sex crimes in federal court in Brooklyn.

The 55-year-old American star was already found guilty in September 2021. After a 21-day trial punctuated by 50 testimonies, including nine women and two men who came to speak at the bar, R. Kelly was accused of running a system of exploitation of young women, including underage teenage girls. He was tried for rape, forced drug taking, imprisonment, corruption, forced labor and child pornography during a period of 24 years, between 1994 and 2018.

During this trial, France info notably relayed the testimony of Stephanie, 39, who spoke openly against R. Kelly. She had a relationship with him for six months when she was 17 during which she allegedly had sex “humiliating” and filmed by the singer himself. This one would have affirmed to him that he preferred the “Girls”that he was a “genius” and he didn’t understand why “people made a big deal out of it”.

Among the damning testimony from this trial, which took place in late summer 2021, the prosecution also reported that of a 22-year-old radio trainee in 2003 who at the time wanted to interview R .Kelly. According to the charges, the young woman was taken to Chicago, the American star’s hometown, where she was locked up for three days and sexually abused by the singer himself before being released threatening to not divulge anything.

Notoriety and predation

R. Kelly is accused of having used his celebrity to set up a whole system of “recruitment” of young girls. The indictment mentioned by France info gives chilling details. R. Kelly reportedly locked most of his victims in hotel rooms while on tour, forced them to “keep your head down” or call him “daddy”. In addition, the American singer would have enlisted his drivers, bodyguards, lawyers and accountants to help build his system.

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Following the September 2021 trial, R. Kelly, who denies all these charges, came close to a life sentence. Eventually, in June 2022, federal court in Brooklyn sentenced him to 30 years in prison.

In 2002, the star had already been charged with filming sexual acts between him and a 14-year-old girl. After a trial for child pornography, he was acquitted in 2008.

In 2019, a six-hour documentary series titled Surviving R. Kelly broadcast on the American channel Lifetime already reported testimonies of women accusing the singer of having had non-consensual sex with them. The American justice had then launched a call for witnesses in order to be able to carry out the investigation. R. Kelly had not reacted to the documentary.